Demand an End to Drunkenness at United Nations Meetings

Target: United Nations

Goal: End the intoxication of delegates and staff at important meetings including budget negotiations at the UN

The UN has a drinking problem. At recent budget negotiations, clearly a serious order of business, several staff showed up so drunk that they had to be replaced. The US ambassador for management and reform Joseph Torsella has recently publicly asked his colleagues not to drink to inebriation at the UN.

That alcohol is allowed at all at the UN headquarters may seem surprising, but the practice is actually a longstanding tradition, with many delegates engaging in light drinking. But what was once a modest indulgence appears to have become a serious problem. The United Nations is the body meant to represent the interests of all its member states—the vast majority of the world’s population. The existence of officially permitted intoxication at something as serious as a budget meeting should not be tolerated.

The United Nations’ staff and delegates are chosen by their respective member countries, many of which are democracies. If the people of the world show that they believe it is unacceptable for UN officials to become so drunk that they are unable to perform their duties, they may find cause to change their in-house policies.

The United Nations was meant to stand for something higher than staffers and delegates showing up fall-down drunk to meetings. Demand that something be done about it by signing the petition below.


Dear delegates and staff of the United Nations headquarters at New York,

The American ambassador for management and reform, Joseph Torsella, has recently spoken to you about the problem of drunkenness at certain UN meetings. According to many reports, the drinking goes far beyond the light drinking that is traditionally accepted at the United Nations. There are accounts of staff members showing up so drunk that they vomited or had to be removed.

As a concerned member of the public, I am appalled by this kind of behavior at an institution that should stand for so much more than being drunk on the job. I ask that for the sake of the international image of the United Nations, if nothing else, that you institute in-house rules against inebriation on the job at the UN. This would be in line with nearly every other line of work. As the premier international governance body, the example set by drunken staff and delegates at the UN is an extremely poor one. I ask that you listen to your colleague Joseph Torsella and do something about drunkenness at the UN.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dendodge via Wikimedia

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One Comment

  1. this is a sad state of affaires!!!can’t have drunks making policy!!!NO BOOZE @ UN!!!

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216 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Debbie Biere
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • Carole Mathews
  • Amy McKeon
  • Amy Wilson
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